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About RocketDog

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  1. I have started paying my condo rent using to transfer from my USA bank account directly to the condo bank account, in Baht. The exchange rate used is the FOREX rated posted every hour. There is a small fee attached as well, but it is truly nominal. I paid $6.31 to transfer 15K baht to my condo account. I happened to get a 3.771 baht/$ exchange rate that day. TransferWise has their own bank account in every major country. Using the desktop or mobile phone app you initiate a transfer from your bank to the TransferWise bank in your country. They then transfer from their bank in your country to their bank in the target country. There it is converted to the local currency and deposited into the local bank account of the receiver. It usually takes 5-7 days on repeat transfers to the same account, but the initial transfer takes longer due to vetting both accounts with micro-transfers first. I used Western Union once when I was in a bind and paid $500 to transfer $5000 to baht in a Thai bank. ATM machines charge a service fee and rape you on the exchange rate. Direct wire transfers into your Thai bank account, if you have one, cost ~$45 plus the bank exchange rate which is usually not good either. I can get Thai cash at a local Bangkok Bank using my MasterCard but they also profit on the exchange rate and MasterCard starts charging interest from the day the cash advance happens. For that reason I waited til the end of the month to get the cash advance and then paid off the card immediately. All of that nonsense is history now that I use TransferWise. If you have a Thai bank account you can simply transfer money from your home account into your Thai account at the prevailing exchange rate that day. This allows you to play the exchange rate market and make larger transfers when the rates are favorable. The process is seamless, fast, and cheap..
  2. Your local police department will issue you a proof of criminal history for a few bucks. $10 in my case. Your State Bureau of Investigation will also give you a background record check online downloadable in PDF format for download for a few bucks. $8.95 in my case. I have it on solid word from a lady that does this stuff all the time that either document is sufficient. They just want to know if you've been arrested and thrown in jail for serious things.
  3. I'm assembling documents for O-A retirement visa extension for submission to the LA consulate. By far the best way to do it if you are a US citizen that happens to be in the US. Their site is very clear about what you need. Go there and read it all!!!! You do need a medical certificate from your doctor. Download link provided.Take it and get it filled out and notarized and notarized copies. You do need a bank letter and proof of funds in excess of 800K baht You do need verification letter from Social Security o pension; do the web site and navigate to Verification of Income and print that, copy, notarize. Yes, the combined sum of the two must exceed 800K baht You do need 4 recent 2x2" photos, with name printed on back. You do need 4 original/copies/notarized of VISA application forms . Download link provided You do need 4 original/copies/notarized of Personal Data Form. Download link provided You do need 4 copies of passport picture page, You do need to surrender your actual passport You do need a cashier's check for $200. You do need to send all by Fedex or equivalent and include return prepaid delivery of some sort. it takes 5-7 days. Be sure to follow the instructions about how many copies, notarization, etc. I think this is the minimum brain-damage approach and doesn't involve any Thai help from that end. Get your 90 extension and passport back, go to LOS, open bank account, transfer money, and go to IO near you after money has 'seasoned' for 60 days. Have recent proof of funds document from Thai bank and proof of residence in LOS ready. Haven't done that last part yet but at least most of the process is done outside Thailand. ::) good luck
  4. I stumbled into Cha-am in Nov. 2016 and stayed until May 01 2017. I saw rain four times during that period, one being a full 24 hr deluge. The others only gentle and nice to cool things down and moisten the soil. Rarely did any rain last more than minutes to an hour and very light. I have had several long-time residents tell me that there is essentially no rainy season in Cha-am due to its location along the coast, not too north and not too south. They say that October is rainy in the sense that is may rain in the afternoon briefly and lightly for a lot of that month. Being practical and skeptical I personally toured Cha-am looking for water damage on building, signs of erosion in empty fields, etc. Cha-am is just a whisker above sea level. Nonetheless, I could find no signs of water damage from flooding even on ancient buildings dating from 200BC (just kidding) and virtually no signs of erosion from flash-floods. I'm inclined to believe what I hear here (!). Here here! At least enough to rent a house with a one year lease. Just personal observation and secondhand info from geezers. Don't blame me if it rains the day you arrive!
  5. I did extensive research on VPNs three years ago even calling several to ask pointed questions. I even subscribed to two of them for a month to test. I tested the hard way by using P2P to download books and waited for a scolding letter from my ISP about copyright infringement. Final result was me subscribing to ExpressVPN for nearly three years now. It is $110/year and I would pay more for it if I had too. They have their own (not leased) severs all over the world manned by their own employees. They encrypt end to end and are immune to deep tunneling even. They use a rotating ID address system so up to dozens of people use the same ID every hour. Impossible to tie one person to any website or data flow. For that price you can install it on three devices. I have it on my cell phone & my laptop 7~24 in Thailand. Completely avoid Thai censorship by logging on from servers in dozens of places in the world. You can even install it on your WiFi router and all devices now have VPN. Really I can't say enough good about them. They're support is fantastic. I use utorrent to download books on a continual basis for over two years now with no nasty grams from my ISP ever. If you view porno in Thailand without a solid VPN you will be very sorry. They ARE watching. I simply can't endorse this product enough. Cheap or free VPN providers will roll over on you in a heartbeat if the authorities contact them, will sell your data, don't own their servers so your data is not protected, have slow rates, bad connections problems, DNS leaks, and generally bad encryption. EXpressVPN tells the authorities that they would quite happily turn over records to authorities but simply have no such records or any way to produce them. Pretty clever strategy actually. Don't waste time, money, and legal help on cheap VPNs. Above all, do your homework well before signing up for one to protect you. Good protection costs money and resources. The truth is that there are very few good services out there, and NONE of those are free or cheap. Some of them are outright scams. Use Express as a model product to compare others to and you will quickly see the truth. I take my privacy against intelligence gathering very seriously. If you have very little use except for movies in another country then cheap ones are OK. But don't for a second think they are protecting you from anybody.
  6. I've had similar experiences with banks and even simple stores in Thailand . I now just smile, thank them, and come back the next day without my feathers ruffled. Inefficient but less brain damage. I always try to remember TIT and the more significant issues I left behind me in the bright and shining USA. That usually calms me down.
  7. LIrving in Cha-am that has been my experience also. As an electronic design engineer I always had fun in the USA listening to audio sales people trying to sell me a more expensive sound system based on what they thought they knew. 55555
  8. Wrong. How you drive here is to expect all other drivers to be trying to kill you and act accordingly. Every minute I'm on my motorbike I recite my driving mantra. "eyes on the road, eyes on the traffic" Thiking of anything else is too dangerous.
  9. Sorry. This calms me not at all.
  10. For me this a non topic. I live in chaam but simply avoid the beach road for 2 km around the soi bus strip from Friday til Monday. If want go to the beach I simply find an empty area of beach farther up or down the hundreds of miles of coast. There are deserted beaches within 10 minutes each way. Beyond that I am am loathe to have oversight or government control of anything if it can possibly be avoided. I have witnessed first hand how the growth of government in all it's forms has eroded freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in my own dear nation. And yes, that is precisely why I am here. Applauding more regulation is a dangerous proposition. Making life easier for one group almost inevitably makes it harder on another, in this case the Thai vendors scratching out a meager existence and kissing farang ass all day, which must get pretty old.
  11. Yes. I too use the Phetchaburi office. They are pleasant, efficient, and fast. I am impressed. We'll see how my retirement extension application goes.
  12. I Wonder how they checked the applicant's age except with a birth certificate. Still, I don't doubt your statement. It is simply another indication that people in my country formerly believed in their own judgment and took control of their own lives. Now we don't need to do that since the government knows much better than we about how to run our lives. .......... AND WE ACCEPT IT. as Donald would say: Sad
  13. Very erudite and persuasive counterpoint. It is clear that you gave your reply a great deal of thought and you certainly contributed substantially to the discussion. I will have to follow your future posts carefully. One of them might accidentally have some content.
  14. Im so glad that you feel so free but if you actually start exercising your freedoms vigorously you may experience unwelcome attention from authorities you never knew existed. Dream on. If you are truly free in your country it must be an economically inconsequential place. Where there is wealth there is state control.
  15. I'm with you Fulwell53. And I've said as much several times on these forums . I think it's a hobby for many of these folks. Well.......... Keeps them off the streets. I'm hoping I can adapt well enough to continue being happy and feeling freer in this beautiful country. I'm not trolling here. I like the country and I like the people. It is incumbent on me to adapt; not the Thai people. If they changed to suit farang I probably wouldn't want to be here.